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ASA Staffing Index: Staffing Employment Begins to Rise in January

After the seasonal end-of-year dip in December, staffing employment rose in the week of Jan. 8–14, with the ASA Staffing Index increasing by 4.0% to a rounded value of 88. Some staffing companies mentioned a holiday and inclement weather as primary factors that limited further growth. Despite two straight weeks of growth, staffing jobs were 12.5% below the same week last year.

New starts in the second week of the year were up 19.2% from the prior week. Almost half of all staffing companies (48%) reported gains in new assignments week to week.

The ASA Staffing Index four-week moving average decreased from the prior week to a rounded value of 86, and temporary and contract staffing employment for the four weeks ending Jan. 14 was 9.6% lower than the same period in 2023.

“Staffing employment is rising in line with seasonal patterns of expansion, but its momentum is lagging behind prior years due to accelerated economic headwinds within the broader labor market,” said Noah Yosif, chief economist at ASA.

This week will be used in the January monthly employment situation report scheduled to be issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Feb. 2.

Free ASA Webinar Today—Managing Your Online Reputation

Don’t miss the ASA webinar “Online Excellence: Why Reputation Matters for Recruiter Success.” It takes place today from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time. Hear industry leaders address the role that reputation plays in staffing client and job seeker decision making in a panel discussion facilitated by Eric Gregg of ClearlyRated, the association’s satisfaction survey partner.

All ASA webinars are free for ASA members, and most qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. To learn more and to register, visit

Vensure Employer Solutions Named ASA Corporate Partner

The American Staffing Association today announced that it has entered into a multiyear corporate partnership with Vensure Employer Solutions, the nation’s largest privately held human resource service and technology provider.

ASA corporate partnerships represent the highest level of support for the association, its members, and the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and talent solutions industry. This strategic collaboration with Vensure, which is driven by its hyper-focused business unit “VensureHR Staffing Alliance,” will support current association projects and services, as well as new initiatives ASA will provide for its members in the coming years. Learn more at

New ASA Issue Paper Warns of Worker Misclassification Risks in Long-Term Health Care Settings

The new, stricter worker classification rules published by the U.S. Department of Labor (as reported in Staffing Today on Jan. 9 and 11) point up the importance of clients using staffing firms that operate as employers and that classify their temporary workers as W-2 employee, not independent contractors.
A new ASA issue paper focuses on the particular risks of misclassification to workers, clients, and patients in long-term care settings, like nursing homes and assisted living facilities, that serve a vulnerable population.

Industry leaders say that the stakes for long-term care nursing are high, and that failure by policy makers to address the issues will mean a new era in which independent contractors become the new, lower, standard for providing patient care. ASA and its members have been pressing DOL and other regulators to step up their efforts to combat misclassification and encourage all staffing firms to assist in the effort by asking their state labor and workforce departments to take similar action.

Member Sound Off: Mapping Routes to Sales Success

How have staffing firm sales processes changed over the past few years? Find out how your peers answered that question in the latest issue of Staffing Success magazine.

Member Sound Off highlights answers to intriguing questions from industry leaders. For this issue, members were asked about the new or innovative sales techniques they’ve tried and how successful they’ve been.

Access the current issue and back issues of Staffing Success, and other ASA digital publications, at

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Against Staffing Firms in No-Poach and Wage-Fixing Case

In an opinion issued Jan. 19, the Illinois Supreme Court concluded that agreements between temporary staffing agencies that limit employees’ wages or employment opportunities can constitute violations of the Illinois Antitrust Act.

In State ex rel. Raoul v. Elite Staffing Inc., the state of Illinois sued three staffing agencies and their common client alleging that they violated the state’s antitrust statute by entering into agreements to fix the wages of certain employees and not to hire each other’s employees, all of whom worked at the common client’s manufacturing facility. The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action because the Illinois Antitrust Act bars anticompetitive agreements related to “services,” but the statute’s definition of services states that services “shall not be deemed to include labor which is performed by natural persons as employees of others.” Drawing on several federal cases interpreting this language to provide an exemption broader than the exemption of organized labor activities under federal antitrust law, the defendants argued that the definition of “service” exempted the conduct alleged in the complaint from liability under the statute. The trial court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, but certified for interlocutory appeal a question regarding the meaning and impact of the statute’s “services” definition.

The Illinois Supreme Court acknowledged that the “services” definition, on its face, “appears to exempt from antitrust scrutiny all agreements concerning wages and conditions of employment, regardless of their anticompetitive effects.” The court, however, found that such a construction would conflict with the purpose of the Illinois Antitrust Act to prohibit anticompetitive restraints on trade. When considered in the context of the entire statutory scheme, the court found that the language in question is ambiguous. To resolve this ambiguity, the court turned to federal antitrust law and secondary sources written contemporaneously to the enactment of the Illinois Antitrust Act and concluded that the Illinois legislature did not intend to exempt all agreements concerning wages and conditions of labor from scrutiny under Illinois antitrust law. In particular, the court concluded that “multiemployer agreements concerning wages they will pay their employees and whether they will hire each other’s employees may violate the Illinois Antitrust Act unless the agreement arises as part of the bargaining process and the affected employees, through their collective bargaining representatives, have sought to bargain with the multiemployer unit.” This interpretation appears to bring the scope of the Illinois Antitrust Act in line with the exemption for organized labor activities under federal antitrust statutes. The Illinois Supreme Court remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

ASA partnered with the Staffing Services Association of Illinois to file an amicus brief in support of the defendants’ position.

To read the case, see State ex rel. Raoul v. Elite Staffing Inc. (2024 IL 128763).